S: Smithsonian Institution | National Museum of the American Indian
FC: Exploring Museum Professions at NMAI: | a photo essay | Smithsonian Institution | National Museum of the American Indian
1: "May I inspect your bag?" | asks a Smithsonian security officer, as she inspects a visitor's bag for hazardous materials. As Glaser and Zenetou state," Every museum must protect its objects, its building, its grounds, its staff, and its visitors. Alert, knowledgeable, well-trained, and responsible guards make the difference." (p. 115)
2: "What's going on today?" | Educators also supervise and train docents, so that they can lead tours in the galleries. (Schlatter, 2008, p. 83, para. 1) | Educators at NMAI are responsible for all public programs. They have a range of programming to pick from interactive carts to hands-on activities!
3: "I am the Curator of..." | A curator is responsible for all research and exhibition content for any given exhibition. They are the "subject matter experts" in their field of study. Curators usually collaborate with educators. Curators, project historians, scholars, fellows, research assistants... They are all considered Curatorial staff.
4: "What's its condition?" | Conservators are responsible for all objects in the collection. Glaser states that the responsibility is twofold: examination/treatment and protection. (p. 76) | Registrar's Office would be responsible for bringing in and unpacking these types of works.
5: "How will it look?" | Exhibition designers and exhibition graphic designers work together to have all objects on display fit within a space, and determine how graphics, exhibition furniture, layout, lighting, architecture will look within an exhibition. | There are also exhibition planners/developers like Kate Roberts at the MN Historical Society, project managers, production and installation staff, and A/V specialists.
6: "Can I play?" | Multimedia specialists create interactive content for a range of visitors. These range from interactive kiosks, games, simulations, and QR codes. They also serve as the liaison for technical and A/V info. (Glaser, 1996, p. 106) | Children interact with NMAI's imagiNATIONS Activity Center. They look highly engaged!
7: "Am I on the guest list?" | Special events are often held in the Potomac Atrium. This area has many special design features including a woven copper-screen wall and an inlaid stone representing fire. The special events staff at NMAI would be responsible for coordinating and executing events in this space i.e. exhibition receptions, fundraisers, VIP parties, even seated dinners. They work with a lot of vendors as well as with the NMAI's facilities management team.
8: "Thank you for your contribution." | Development officers are responsible for bringing in funds for the museum i.e. corporate gifts, individual donors, membership, grants and foundations, even donations collected from this donation box! As Joan Olson, the former Director of Development at the Minneapolis Museum of Art states,"Everyone is a potential donor."
9: "Let's go shopping!" | NMAI's museum shop managers make sure there's plenty of souvenirs and gifts to chose from. From dreamcatchers, books on horse culture, whistles, handmade dolls... You can find it all at the museum shop!
10: "What should I have for lunch?" | All visitors look forward towards a wonderful meal at museums, as they want to have the "full museum experience." NMAI's Mitsitam Cafe employs talented chefs, food servers, cafeteria service workers, who all help make Mitsitam run smoothly during lunchtime. Pictured here are some delicious Indian tacos made with fry bread!
11: References: | Glaser, J.R., & Zenetou, A.A. (1996). Museums: A place to work, planning museum careers. New York, NY: Routledge. Schlatter, N.E. (2008). Museum careers: A practical guide for students and novices. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press. Johns Hopkins University via Blackboard. (2013). Interview with Kate Roberts [Website]. Retrieved from http://www.sandboxstudios.org/clientfilemanager/JHU/601/interviews/KateRoberts.mp3 Johns Hopkins University via Blackboard. (2013). Interview with Joan Olson [Website]. Retrieved from http://www.sandboxstudios.org/clientfilemanager/JHU/601/interviews/JoanOlson.mp3 National Museum of the American Indian. (2013). Special Events in DC | National Museum of the American Indian [Website]. Retrieved from http://nmai.si.edu/support/specialevents/washington/